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[105] of ladies on our battery as graced the breezy walk on this eventful morning. Here they stood with palpitating hearts and palid faces watching the white smoke as it rose in wreaths upon the soft twilight air, and breathing out fervent prayers for their gallant kinfolks at the guns. O! what a conflict raged in these heaving bosoms between love for husbands and sons and love for one common mother whose insulted honor and imperilled safety had called her faithful children to the ensanguined field.

At thirty minutes past 4 o'clock the conflict was opened by the discharge of a shell from the Howitzer Battery on James Island, under the command of Captain Geo. S. James, who followed the riddled palmetto banner on the bloody battlefields of Mexico.

The sending of this harmful message to Major Anderson was followed by a deafening explosion, which was caused by the blowing up of a building which stood in front of the battery.

While the white smoke was melting away into the air another shell, which Lieutenant W. Hampten (Hampton) Gibbes has the honor of having fired, pursued its noiseless way toward the hostile fortification.

The honored missive described its beautiful curve through the balmy air, and, falling within the hostile fortress, scattered its deadly contents in all directions. Fort Moultrie then took up the tale of death, and in a moment the guns from the redoubtable gun battery on Cummings Point, from Captain (John) McCrady's Battery, from Captain James Hamilton's Floating Battery, the enfilade battery and other fortifications spit forth their wrath at the grim fortress, rising so defiantly out of the sea.

Major Anderson received the shot and shell in silence, and some excited lookers on, ignorant of the character of the foe, were fluent with conjectures and predictions that revived the hope fast dying out of their hopeful and tender hearts. But the short lived hope was utterly extinguished when the deepening twilight revealed the Stars and Stripes floating proudly in the breeze. The batteries continued at intervals to belch iron vengeance and still no answer was returned by the foe. About an hour after the booming began, two balls rushed hissing through the air and glanced harmlessly from the stuccoed bricks of Fort Moultrie. The embrasures of the hostile fortress gave forth no sound again till between 6 and 7 o'clock, when, as if wrathful from enforced delay, from casemate and parapet the United States officer poured a storm of iron hail upon Fort Moultrie, Steven's Iron Battery and the Floating Battery. The broadside


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